Kilmuckridge

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Kilmuckridge
Village
Kilmuckridge village
Kilmuckridge village
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County Wexford
Government
 • Dáil Éireann Wexford
Time zone WET (UTC+0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (WEST) (UTC-1)



Morriscastle Beach at sunset, looking south towards Tinnaberna and Wexford town., September 4th, 2012

Kilmuckridge (Irish: Cill Mhucraise),[1] formerly Ford or The Ford, is a village in County Wexford in Ireland near the Irish Sea coast which is popular with weekend visitors and holidaymakers. It lies on the R742 regional road 22 km (14 mi) south of Gorey.

Tourist Attractions[edit]

The local beaches are the main attraction of the area, and are part of a long stretch of unbroken sandy beach that connects Cahore to Raven Point. This is said to be one of the longest stretches of beach in Europe.

Morriscastle, the most famous beach, is popular with swimmers, walkers, horse riders and anglers, and is the focal point for a cluster of holiday home developments, caravan parks and camp sites. It currently holds a prestigious Blue Flag award, granted due to its excellent water quality, safety, well-managed environment and good local services. [2]

Other beaches nearby include Ballinoulart, Tinnaberna and Ballynamona, which are generally secluded and less developed. A substantial wind farm is located near Ballinoulart beach. Common fish regularly caught in the area include bass and flounder. [3]

Morriscastle Beach at sunset, September 4th, 2012

The local coast is host to many rare flora and fauna and is part of a national heritage site, Kilmuckridge-Tinnaberna Sandhills. Morriscastle has also been awarded the Green Coast Beaches award.[4]

Kilmuckridge contains a number of historical buildings as well as restaurants, guesthouses, pubs, and shops, and the popularity of the village as a tourist resort has encouraged much building and development in recent decades. This was largely fuelled by relatively affordable local property, access to amenities and improvements to the N11 road connecting County Wexford to Dublin. As of late 2014, property values in Kilmuckridge generally remain very competitive.

Blackwater Golf Course is located about five kilometres from Kilmuckridge. This 2400-yard Par 3 course is a major attraction for visitors. [5]

Other places of note near Kilmuckridge are the historic villages of Blackwater, County Wexford, Curracloe, Boolavogue, Cahore, Ballygarrett and Courtown.

On older maps, the village is sometimes referred to by its older name of Ford, or The Ford. The name Kilmuckridge originally referred to a small road junction about 1.5km from the main village and site of the Church of Ireland church.

History[edit]

The village, formerly known as The Ford, is in the civil parish of Kilmuckridge[6] and in the Catholic parish of Litter (from the Irish language Leitir, meaning a hillside).

Morriscastle, as the name suggests, is the site of a ruined mediaeval Norman castle that can be seen from the roadway. Local legend tells that a tunnel once existed linking the castle to Ferns.

The Catholic Church was built in 1796 and the Church of Ireland church dates from 1815.

The village also has a historic graveyard at Killincooley, about which McDonald (2009) recalls: "there was a well, which was supposed to be a holy one, the waters from which were reputed to effect cures........ in 1930 a very old person, who had a right to be buried there in a family grave, died, and when he was buried in the area near the well it was found that the bodies in the grave, which had been there for over thirty years, hadn’t decayed. Some very old people in the area were able to relate that their parents had mentioned years before that decomposition didn’t occur in a part of that cemetery."[7]

It is believed that Kilmuckridge people played a prominent part in the 1798 rising, with one of its most prominent leaders being John Murphy of nearby Boolavogue.

The Tithe Applotment Books contain data for the parish of Kilmuckridge for the year 1833. [8]

Griffith's Valuation was completed for County Wexford in 1854, and data for Kilmuckridge can be found here. [9]

There are no listed shipwrecks off Morriscastle Beach but several have occurred in the general area, most notably the clipper ship Pomona, which ran aground off Ballyconigar in 1859 while en route from Liverpool to New York and sank with the loss of nearly four hundred people, mostly Irish poor.[10][11]

Around 1900, the village's tug o' war team achieved renown, and about which McDonald (2009) recalls: "The world champion tug of war team who won two years in succession, sometime in the early 1900s, came from Kilmuckridge. Their combined weight was something over 2 tons and they were all over 6 feet 6 inches in height. Two of them, the Mangan brothers, were also world champion weight lifters, holding the record for many years."[12]

The 1901 Census holds details of households in the Kilmuckridge area. The village is found in the District Electoral Division of Ballyvaldon, and information may be found for its townlands, such as Tinnaberna and Ballynahask.[13]

During World War 2, the area saw two plane crashes. In May 1941, a German Heinkel He 111 bomber crashed in the sea and sank near the Blackwater lightship, with two recorded fatalities. In 1945, an American Martin Marauder aircraft crashed at Killenagh, with no fatalities.[14]

Many historical photographs of the village can be seen in the local pubs, especially Joe Hammel's lounge.

Sport[edit]

Kilmuckridge’s local GAA club is Buffers Alley, which is shared with the neighbouring village of Monamolin and based at Ballinastraw. It is predominantly a hurling and camogie club but also fields teams in junior football.

Historically, the hurling team is one of Wexford’s most successful, and won an All-Ireland Club Championship title in 1989, becoming the first Wexford team to do so. As of 2012, the club has won twelve county senior hurling titles, all in a remarkable period from 1968 to 1992, with prominent players of the time including Tony Doran, Colm Doran, Mick Butler (hurler), Henry Butler, Tom Dempsey (hurler), Eamonn Sinnott and others. It has fallen on leaner times in recent decades, and suffered relegation in 2012 [1].

Buffer's Alley's camogie team also has a history of success, winning the All-Ireland Senior Club Camogie Championship a remarkable five times in a six-year period from 1979 to 1984, jointly making it the competition's most successful team, until being surpassed some years later by St Paul's Camogie Club of Kilkenny.

The local soccer club is St Joseph’s, which is based at Grove Park in the centre of Kilmuckridge.

Prominent horse trainer Colm Murphy is based in nearby Killenagh, and has brought major success to the area through several major victories, notably Brave Inca’s win of the 2006 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Transport[edit]

The village is located approximately 119 kilometres from central Dublin. The city's southern outskirts can be reached in around one hour by car.

Michael Gray runs a daily Mondays to Fridays service between the village and Wexford. [15]

Bus Éireann local route 379 serves the village on Mondays and Saturdays only. On Mondays there is a bus at 10.59am to Gorey and at 4.11pm to Wexford. On Saturdays there are buses to Wexford at 12.46pm and 4.52pm. There is also a bus to Gorey at 8.59am.[16]

A windfarm at Ballinoulart near Kilmuckridge

Arts[edit]

The village hosts the annual Kilmuckridge Drama Festival, a celebration of the performing arts. It is a certified festival of the Amateur Dramatic League of Ireland and groups from all over the country compete. In April 2015, the village will host the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals.[17]

Local band The Jades (Irish band) achieved nationwide prominence in the 2000s, particularly through finishing as runners-up on the RTÉ series You're a Star.

The Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová spent time in Kilmuckridge during her early career and discusses this in a 2009 interview with the Irish Times.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°30′48″N 6°17′01″W / 52.513289°N 6.28374°W / 52.513289; -6.28374